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A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Easonrk (---.kc.rr.com)
Date: April 21, 2004 01:46AM

I'm looking for anyone that knows of sources to find a literary critique of this Frost poem. Something on-line would be wonderful.


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: April 21, 2004 11:00AM

Not for the first time, it amazes me that when I look for "criticism" or "interpretation" on line, I find a lot of illegal offers to sell essays and term papers. THE DARK SIDE of the internet! It must be an awful temptation to some students.

But for those who are willing to read and ACKNOWLEDGE the thoughts of others:

---------------

THere is VERY LITTLE out there about this particular poem.

Here is one student's interpretation of the poem:
[www.tqnyc.org] />
And here you can order an "e-book" about the poem (but I have no idea if it's any good -- may be a total rip-off):

<[plagiarist.com] />
But I think if you want to read what others have written about this poem, you would do best to find some books about Frost himself, and his work as a whole--and look up this poem in the index of the book. Your city or school library may have biographies and crititical studies. You can also try here for suggestions:

[www.todayinliterature.com] />
=============

You could also try looking at on-line critiques of other Frost poems that deal with nature, snow, birds, etc., and see if there are comments that apply equally to "Prayer in SPring."


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: April 21, 2004 01:02PM

I can't say I agree with the student's interpretation, and anyone who writes html with black text on a green background is waaay out in left field.

What do you suppose he means by 'meteor'? Hummingbird?


Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: April 21, 2004 01:38PM

The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

Sounds like a hummingbird to me.

pam


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: April 21, 2004 04:54PM


I thought it was a hummingbird. I like the irony of calling such a delicate thing a "meteor."


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Easonrk (---.cerner.com)
Date: April 21, 2004 05:08PM

Thanks so much for all the responses. I struck out last night at a university library and Barnes and Nobles. The library had a very extensive catalog of literary critiques, but no dice on this one.

I did find another student interpretation. I found it by typing "orcahrd" into the Google (go figure).

[www.cat.cc.md.us] />
I also think "meteor" refers to a hummingbird. A meteor can be described as a streak of light, but it really is a small particle of matter. A hummingbird's wings move at such a fast rate which gives the illusion of something different than wings.


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: April 21, 2004 05:11PM

Certainly the wind-rush from when they buzz you is pretty strong. It would hurt if one ran into you.

pam


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.phoenix-01rh15-16rt.az.dial-access.att.net)
Date: April 21, 2004 05:42PM

For the literary critique, one has to infer (as usual) that Frost is saying one thing while meaning another. Live for today, I would think is the theme, not dreaming of the harvest that may never come. Rains or drought or frost (!) for example could mean there might never be a harvest at all. Give us this day our daily bread, innit. The metaphor is extended throughout, comparing the bounty of the spring with the various creatures enjoying it.

Iambic pentameter in rhyming couples (although the stanzas are quatrains), lines end stopped with all masculine endings. Any consonance or assonance?


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 21, 2004 06:37PM

What does "way out in left field" mean? It sounds as if it has something to do with baseball, but what have you got against that particular fielding position? The context seems to indicate disapproval.


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-01rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: April 22, 2004 11:39AM

Well, everyone knows that Who was on first, What on second, and I Don't Know at third. Less well known is the left fielder's name, Why. So, the etymology of the old saying 'out in left field' is to ask the reason why (a particular thing was done). This clearly proves the superiority of baseball to cricket, I might add as an afterthought, since only sticky wicket has evolved into a banal platitude.

Hope this helps!


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: April 22, 2004 12:02PM

Linda, in sand lot ball, the left fielder is far, far from the action at home plate.
Hence someone who is "out in left field" is out of "it". Doesn't know what's going on, etc. "Lost in the clouds" is an expression similar in meaning.

Les


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: April 22, 2004 12:30PM


I agree with Les that "out in left field" means (in baseball) far from the center of action, and therefore means (as a metaphor) far from the normal or likely interpretation. A theory that's "way out in left field" is not necessarily wrong, but it's bizarre and unexpected.

Accordingly, an idea that comes "FROM out in left field" can mean a good idea or a correct idea that comes from an unexpected line of reasoning or an unothodox approach.


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 22, 2004 03:07PM

What do you mean, sticky wicket the only saying from cricket?!! THAT'S JUST NOT CRICKET. What about short leg, silly mid on, bowling a maiden over ? (OK, I take your point)


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-02rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: April 23, 2004 11:52AM

I was naive enough to think I could look all those up at one time.

[tinyurl.com]


Re: A Prayer in Spring - Robert Frost
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: April 23, 2004 12:13PM

Well, I've never watched a cricket game, or jai lai, for that matter. But here are some cricket terms for those of you who have:

[www.seattlecricket.com] />

Les




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